Dealing with Fear by: Jim Colvin, MDiv.

Author Loren Eisley tells a story in his book the Immense Journey of a scientist back in the 1930’s or ‘40’s who learned about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the fact that there is much, much more space than matter in what we call solid ground.  As the man conceptualized all that space beneath him he became so frightened that he had to wear snowshoes for two weeks until he could once again trust that the earth beneath his feet would support him.

            With the experiences we hear about and see in our world, the killing of African Americans by police both in Asheville and in other cities, the massacre of 49 people in a gay club in Orlando, and the assassination of white policemen doing their duty in Dallas, a climate of fear has taken hold in some persons. This atmosphere of uncertainty is fostered by the media, who profit by scared people riveted to electronic devices.  And the world does not feel solid, similar to our scientist above. 

            When we feel that we cannot trust the world and find ourselves fearful, our energy and our being is pulled in, shrunken.  There may be pain and even trauma. So how do we become untriggered and able to trust again?  One important step is to take a deep breath and summon the stamina to reach out and connect rather than to isolate ourselves.  Connect with people and communities you can trust. And turn off the news sources! Faith communities can be of particular support if the message is one of love, inclusion and hope for justice in our society. For if we are unable to trust the world chances are we do not trust God either.

            From my perspective and that of many persons of faith, when the world suffers we can count on God to be suffering with us, and to offer love in solidarity.  That may not remove all doubt and fear, but it can sustain us enough to get through these tough days.  And love and community are a source of stability in unstable times.  We might even find the courage to reach out and support our friends and neighbors of other races and backgrounds.

            Hoping you are finding some possibilities of connecting!